How Much Does It Cost to Build a Balcony?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

A balcony is an elevated platform seen in many houses often leading out from the living room or master bedroom either outdoors or inside.  It is protected by railings or balustrades, and it serves two main purposes: to add an outside appeal for the house and to serve as a place where you can spend time to relax.

Balcony by Piddleville, on Flickr
Balcony” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Piddleville

How much does it cost to build a balcony?

The cost to build a balcony depends on the size, design, type of railings you use and the type of materials you are going to use to build the balcony.  It’s hard to pinpoint an exact price because there are so many factors, but at the lower end, plan on spending about $17 per square foot for a finished wood balcony with simple wood railings to as much as $59 per square foot for a composite wood balcony with glass railings.  This quote should include the engineering and full build out. While the price may seem high, remember a balcony can often increase your home’s value, allowing you to recoup the costs when you sell in the future.

A builder on Angie’s List said one of the biggest cost drivers will be whether the wall will have to be strengthened to carry the load or if the existing rim joists are able to carry the deck.

modernize.com tells us it’s hard to estimate a realistic price because you need to factor in the size, cost of local labor and the materials.  As a safe bet, they recommend budgeting $15 to $35 per square foot.

A smaller Juliette balcony may cost less than $500 since it’s extremely simple to install.

As for an interior balcony, the costs tend to be within the $2,000 to $10,000 range.  Like an outdoor balcony, the costs will depend on the material, the location and construction company you choose.

Building a balcony overview

Balconies will often be made from wood, cement, a wood composite or vinyl.  While concrete can be structurally sound and holds up to the outdoor weather, it doesn’t match everyone’s appeal to a relaxing area.  Wood is a classic building material, but unlike concrete, it will have to be resealed every few years to make sure it holds up.  A wood composite will be slightly similar to wood; however, it won’t require as much maintenance.  Lastly, vinyl tends to be the cheapest option and is the cheapest option to install.

As for the railings, most will be made from a metal, vinyl, wood or glass pane.  Some may be a single straight line, while others can be a semi-circle or angular.

Most balconies outdoors won’t extend further than four feet and will be designed in a way to block the sunlight from reaching the ground.  A balcony that extends four feet can often accommodate about two to three chairs, depending on the size.  Anything longer than four feet will require a different foundation setup.

A Juliette balcony, as mentioned above, is just a door that opens either inward or outward and a protective rail or piece of glass is placed in front of the door opening.  This balcony isn’t a balcony per se since you can’t sit on it, but is a good option for aesthetic purposes.  Houzz has some nice Juliet balcony ideas.

What are the extra costs?

As mentioned in the materials, if you choose wood, you will need to reseal the balcony at least once to twice a year, depending on your climate.  Also, vinyl, over time, may start to discolor, especially if it isn’t scrubbed down often and is exposed to the sun.

If the balcony is going to be added to a structure on the outside, a permit will be necessary to abide by local laws.  Permits can start at $100 and go up from there depending on the city and state.

If building a balcony to an existing home, an access point will need to be created.  This means framing a new door and purchasing the new hardware.  The frame should cost about $1,000 and the new door will depend on your choice and can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand.  French doors, for example, can cost close to $5,000.

If choosing a material that can be painted, this may or may not be included in the cost.

Adding a pergola over the balcony can be an additional cost.

Enclosing a balcony can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the type of enclosure, the materials being used and if windows will be involved.

Tips to know

When choosing a balcony, don’t just focus on the outside.  You’re going to want to make sure you think about how you can access the balcony as well.  Think about where this access door will go and pay close attention to make sure nothing will be affected such as your dresser.

Patio vs balcony

Pro of a Patio

A patio will sit on the ground, making it easy to use as another entrance to your home.  It’s also ideal for pets because you won’t have to worry about any stairs.  A patio is also easy to maintain since it will sit on the ground and will be more than likely be made of concrete.  Simply hosing it down with some soapy water from time to time will be more than enough.

Con of a Patio

It will offer less safety because they are easier to access when compared to a balcony that’s higher up.  Nature also likes to invade since bugs and wild animals may be able to make your patio their home.

Pro of a Balcony

Balconies will be higher up and can offer some great views of your surroundings.  A balcony can also offer more privacy since you will be higher up than your neighbors.

Con of a Balcony

Compared to a patio, a balcony will be smaller, offering less space.  A balcony also will have fewer uses.  If it’s too small, you may not be able to fit a grill or larger patio furniture on it.

How can I save money?

Choosing simple designs and materials to cut down on costs.  For example, wood will be much cheaper than a composite, but remember, being cheap may cost you in the long haul since it won’t last as long and will require more upkeep.

The higher the balcony is, the more it will cost.

Consider using HomeAdvisor.com to get multiple quotes e-mailed to you for free.


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